Without a doubt, the east exit of Fukushima City train station is the exit you’ll want to explore if you are a tourist in Fukushima City. (Although if you arrive by bullet train, the gates will sort of lead you naturally to the boring west side….so be careful. The west side does have a tourist information center and the Corasse Building so it’s worth exploring perhaps, but really the east side is more historic and interesting.)
So here are the coffee shops in the station on the east side. They are NOT the best coffee shops around. The best ones are, naturally, the independent ones….and those are only outside of the station. These are all chains. But still very convenient if you just want a quick break and don’t care about buying “local.”
My favorite coffee shop (in the station on the east side–that’s the last time I am saying that!) is Starbucks. The reason is simply because it has some really comfortable cushiony chairs. When I go to a coffee shop alone, I like to study or read, and I want to be comfortable doing it.
It’s the most expensive though. Not cheap!
It’s completely smoke-free and has a viewing area of the station below for your inner Peeping Tom.
Next is Doutor, a Japanese-born chain. I don’t like our Doutors in Fukushima because they are divided into smoking and non-smoking with no partition, and of course anywhere in the restaurant you can smell the smoke.
Lotteria is actually a fast food restaurant, but it makes a nice budget coffee shop. Much cheaper than Starbucks. It has an enclosed smoking section, and the rest is non-smoking. I can’t smell the smoke at all in the non-smoking section so I quite like it. It’s a good place if you have a kid since there is a lot of junky kid stuff on the menu.
This is the French bakery Vie de France. I don’t think it’s a real French bakery at all. It’s a very common Japanese chain. If you sit next to the window, you can be all French (ooh la la) and people watch. I would love if Japanese did the real French thing and sat outside under umbrellas and stared aggressively at every single person who walked by and also kissed their friends on the cheeks to say hello.
This is Mister Donuts. You actually have to depart the station and turn left, but it’s still part of the station, I think. Great place to take kids for donuts. You can people watch here, too.
Okay, those are the places for coffee!!!!!! And tea or whatever. Like I said, I usually go to Starbucks because of the comfy seating. When my son was little, it was usually Mister Donuts. (Back then, Lotteria was a McDonalds, and we went there a lot, too.) But now that he is older, we go to Starbucks more because he likes their Frappucinos (but we don’t go too often…it’s expensive!!!)